Abortion and the negation of love:
Those of us in the pro-life movement often claim that we live in a “culture of death.” But most of us don't believe it. Not really. We may use the phrase as a rhetorical tool, but deep in our hearts we think that our family, friends, and neighbors wouldn't knowingly kill another human being.
We convince ourselves that they simply don't realize what they're doing. If only they could see—and honestly look at—the ultrasound pictures of an unborn child. If only we could convince them that what they consider a “clump of cells” is a person. If only they knew it was a human life they were destroying. If they only knew, they wouldn’t—they couldn’t—continue to support abortion.
But they do know. And the abortions continue. Not because we live in a culture of death but because we live in a culture of me.
• "Women: This is your life and your body. What you think is right . . . is! No matter what anyone else has to say about it. Look around you . . . many people sat in that same chair. Be strong. And if you think this is a “sin,” remember, God forgives!"
• "I didn't let your dad know about you, simply because I'm ashamed. In my heart I will miss you but physically I don't have the means to take care of you and your older sister. I will never label you a mistake, because God obviously thought you should have been here, even though I beg to differ."
Notice that all three examples mention God. God forgives. The baby is better off with God. However, the last one best sums up this attitude behind the Culture of Me: God thought you should be born, but I beg to differ.
Pangs of conscience are, of course, a natural reaction to the taking of an innocent life. But while the Culture of Me can accept an unborn child being ripped from the womb, having hurt feelings about such actions is unacceptable.
The end of the Glamour article closes with a feature called, “Women tell the true story of my abortion.” Unsurprisingly, the women represented are more concerned about their own anguish than they are regretful about their decision to kill another human:
• “I don’t want this to affect the rest of my life.” — Carla, 23
But the most revealing confession came from thirty-five-year-old Micaela:"This may sound strange, but I felt I knew the being I was carrying. I felt he was my son. I even called him Ernesto. .... I know it was really about me, ... and that's what the last five years since the abortion have been about."
While rereading these quotes I was reminded of the words of Josef Pieper.“... In every conceivable case love signifies much the same as approval. This is first of all to be taken in the literal sense of the word's root: loving someone or something means finding him or its probes, the Latin word for ‘good.’ It is a way of turning to him or it and saying, “It's good that you exist; it's good that you are in the world!”
The opposite of love is the frame of mind that declares, “It's good that you not exist; it’s good that you are not in the world!” ....
Joe Carter is web editor of First Things and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator. His previous articles for “On the Square” can be found here.
Glamour, Are You Ready to Really Understand Abortion? [PDF]
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Hearts full of hurt: Abortion clinic messages reflect new counseling philosophy